At death’s door

Su­san’s ill­ness sees her ready to make the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice for her king­dom and her hus­band Chief Azwin­dini.

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Royal wife Su­san (Mahumela Mahuwa) has been in phys­i­cal pain ever since she found out in Au­gust this year that she’s car­ry­ing Chief Azwin­dini’s (Gabriel Te­mudzani) baby – and the prophecy says that her preg­nancy will cost a life! On Mon­day 12 De­cem­ber, Su­san’s con­di­tion is so bad that she’s left bedrid­den. “It’s got­ten into her head that she has very lit­tle time to live and ev­ery ache in her body turns into a big prob­lem,” ex­plains Mahumela. And it’s not just Su­san’s body that’s plagued; her marriage to Azwin­dini is ail­ing too. The chief is pained to see his wife suf­fer­ing so much on Tues­day 13 De­cem­ber. Try­ing to take an­other wife in late Novem­ber has kept him busy but his fo­cus is now on Su­san and his stressed at­ti­tude has the royal house in a frenzy, as Mahumela re­veals: “Su­san is and has al­ways been seen as the ma­tri­arch in Thathe’s royal house. She has kept Azwin­dini and his other wives in check when things go wrong. She is the hero who stands be­side Azwin­dini and she is the most beloved wife in the house. No­body wants to see her suf­fer.” And it’s not only Su­san that the king­dom’s wor­ried about – they’re also con­cerned about the baby that she’s car­ry­ing.

Azwin­dini has been des­per­ate to have an­other child since he found out in July 2016 that the royal princes weren’t ac­tu­ally his blood sons. “Su­san has put her life on the line to give her hus­band what he wants. The prophecy says that she will pos­si­bly die af­ter giv­ing birth. This is a self­less act that she wants to com­plete,” says Mahumela. But Thathe’s ruler isn’t ready to let go of his No.1 wife and Azwin­dini tells Su­san ex­actly that on Thurs­day 15 De­cem­ber.

On Fri­day 16 De­cem­ber, Azwin­dini is forced to think long and hard about Su­san’s fate fol­low­ing his con­ver­sa­tion with tra­di­tional healer Mulim­isi (Hum­bu­lani Tsha­rani). “Mulim­isi tells his chief that ac­cord­ing to his pre­dic­tions, a boy will be born and the baby is okay and grow­ing healthy right now, but Su­san isn’t,” ex­plains Mahumela. The chief is caught between a rock and a hard place and must choose between his heir and his wife on Mon­day 19 De­cem­ber, but does he have the strength to make such a de­ci­sion?

“If Azwin­dini chooses Su­san, then he loses the baby who is also his heir. But if he chooses the baby, he loses a wife,” the ac­tress ex­plains. “And then there’s Mpho (Azwimm­bavhi Ramm­buda), the girl that Azwin­dini’s had his eye on and she’s now liv­ing at the royal house. At first Su­san had a prob­lem with Mpho, but now [on Tues­day 20 De­cem­ber] Su­san has come to terms with her. She no longer thinks that Mpho is try­ing to pull a stunt and log­i­cally, Mpho would be the per­fect woman to take Su­san’s place in the royal house as she can care for Azwin­dini.” But no­body can re­place Su­san in the chief’s eyes and later on Tues­day 20 De­cem­ber, it’s time for the king­dom’s leader to an­nounce his choice: his wife or his un­born heir!

While we can’t say who’ll be saved by Chief Azwin­dini, we can say that Mahumela isn’t leav­ing Mu­vhango. Her scenes have been less­ened over the past few months and she’s go­ing from full-time cast to call ac­tress. “I will be con­cen­trat­ing on other things, such as my higher call­ing and other side projects,” Mahumela says. “But I’m not go­ing any­where. Su­san is too pop­u­lar and loved by Mu­vhango fans.”

Su­san is will­ing to die to give her hus­band what he wants: an heir. Azwin­dini has a heart-wrench­ing de­ci­sion to make.

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